Luke Mack

Growing up around the car industry as the son of a car designer who loved car culture, and now working as a car designer myself, I have always been drawn to how surfaces are capable of evoking emotion. I find it interesting that the slightest surface changes in a face can appear as a totally different emotion, or even a different person altogether, even though the anatomical structure is relatively the same on each human face. It is the subtleties that create the identity. Also, each face tells a story and conveys an energy. I like to imagine what people would look like if colors and abstract shapes were part of their identity; almost like their aura. If the initial feeling from a model's face I use to paint is a specific emotion, I will build off of that with specific colors and shapes that I feel add to and compliment the energy of that emotion. Each color and line in my mind always relates back to the subject's face. 

I have always believed in creating a certain level of realism in my work enough to accurately represent a specific person, but I think it becomes even more interesting when that is contrasted with non-representational forms like a playful meandering line over a face and a loose, colorful abstract shape next to it. I want the viewer's focus to vibrate between an illusion of a serious three-dimensional reality with depth and the honesty of simple shapes of paint on a two-dimensional surface.

Fashion and music is also an influence in my work, I am always impressed with how fashion photography captures emotion, color and movement in people. I have always strived to convert the feeling of music into an image; where there is rhythm, a dynamic composition, and most importantly, movement. When I see a photograph that evokes emotion sometimes I imagine a sound that would go along with it, and when I hear music that evokes emotion I imagine an image that could go with it. In the middle of these two things is where I am playing with these paintings. Painting to me is about turning time into space, and in some cases I overlay two faces from the same model with different emotions as if they were two moments that happened within seconds from each other, inviting the viewer to consider how fast things can change within seconds, reminding us of our ephemerality.

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